Why is Networking So Important?
While most professionals widely accept that networking is vital to career success, it still might not be at the top of your to-do list. I get it – networking can be draining, awkward, and stressful, not to mention time-consuming on top of an already busy schedule.
But when you do networking well, it can help you advance your career or land a job faster. Networking isn’t about begging for favors. Think about networking as professional relationship building.
It doesn’t have to be a formal thing – opportunities outside of formal networking events abound! You can always be looking for opportunities to build relationships with people inside and outside your professional circle. Whether at the watercooler at work or waiting in line for coffee, there are plenty of opportunities to network.
WHAT YOU CAN GAIN THROUGH NETWORKING
Regular interaction with professional peers can open your eyes to new paths and options within your industry. It can help you tap into a larger pool of ideas and information and inspire breakthroughs. You know the saying, “Iron sharpens iron.” This idea holds true for networking. Networking can help you keep up to date on the latest industry trends and best practices. It is all too easy to fall into a routine and become stagnant and comfortable. When you surround yourself with other people in the same industry, you can’t help but be inspired.
Through networking, you can gain support via high profile individuals and meet prospective mentors. Once you make connections, you can seek advice from those who have already succeeded in the career path that you’re on.
Networking gives you opportunities to become more visible through partnerships with people that offer different services to similar audiences. You’ve probably seen this often on various social media platforms. As a natural-health enthusiast, I’ve learned about new products or social media personalities through similar accounts that I follow. For example, I found out about homeopathy through a natural health summit put on by a panel that included a paleo chef I follow. These partnerships are mutually beneficial because they target similar clientele but offer vastly different services or products.
Did you know that companies fill roughly 90-92% of all jobs through networking? Often, they fill positions before even listing them online. Through networking, you can find out about job openings that a company didn’t advertise publicly, and you will already have a connection to them through your networking relationship. Networking helps you keep your finger on the pulse of the job market. It also helps you meet potential clients and partners.
When networking, consider people you wouldn’t mind doing a favor for and from whom you’d feel comfortable asking a favor. Consider their relevance to your career, or the career to which you aspire. Effective networking, just like relationship building, fosters mutual trust. Examine how you can benefit their career, as well as how they might contribute to your success.
NETWORKING THROUGH COVID-19
You may be wondering how you can effectively network when many parts of the country are restricting most social activities over the current concerns of COVID-19. Luckily, we live in the age of the internet! This next week, Dr. Jeannine Bennett will be sharing her top tips for networking through COVID-19 on her LinkedIn page, so head over there and give her a follow.
Remember, it is ultimately up to you to take control of your career trajectory. When you invest in networking, you’re investing in relationships with others, and the investment will pay you back throughout your career.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melanie Lemus is the Communications Specialist for Vision to Purpose providing self-help, business, and career-focused topics.
ABOUT VISION TO PURPOSE
Vision to Purpose is an organization dedicated to helping individuals and businesses succeed by offering tailored career, life, and business solutions.
Need a resume writer? How about a career coach? Perhaps a business consultant? Look no further, Dr. Bennett and the Vision to Purpose team can help! You can learn more about Vision to Purpose by visiting www.visiontopurpose.com.